Council boss fights steep rise in homes

Contributed by editor on Nov 26, 2004 - 09:00 PM


Kent takes its fight against major proposed increases in the number of houses to be built in the county to a crucial meeting o­n Monday (29th November).

The South East England Regional Assembly (SEERA), which wants to significantly increase the numbers, meets in Woking and will receive a motion from Kent County Council Leader Sir Sandy Bruce-Lockhart opposing the increases. All other county councils in the South East will be supporting this call for a reduction in SEERA's housing ambitions.
Sir Sandy will question the Government and SEERA prediction that o­ne-third of the Government's current housing allocation for the South East could be needed for migration into the southern counties from London, the North, from abroad and from outside the South East.
Sir Sandy said: "Of course we need more houses for Kent's own young people, first time buyers and for more elderly people living alone; this is exactly what we have planned for. The present Regional Planning Guidance of 28,000 homes per year more than allows for this. Two thirds of this figure is made up of the needs of the Kent and South East population to have more houses and o­ne third has been added to take inward migration into the South East counties from the north, the rest of the UK and abroad. The problem is that o­n top of this the SEERA proposals call for up to a staggering 36,000 houses a year  a 30% increase. What is the point in simply moving more and more people into an already overcrowded South East?"
On Monday 22 November Kent County Council's Cabinet concluded that the process now being used at regional level to decide how many new homes should be built in Kent is deeply flawed, being rushed and contains proposed building targets that are far too high for what is needed.
Kent County Planning Officer Leigh Herington described SEERA's proposals as "the most chaotic process I have come across in 30 years of dealing with major planning issues."
Kent County Council's Cabinet believes the existing projections should be maintained and consulted upon. These range from the 25,500 homes a year currently being built in the South East, the present Regional Planning Guidance at 28,000 per year, through to a maximum of 32,000. Consultation o­n new figures will take place in January and SEERAs proposals for the South East range from 29,500 up to 36,000 a year. This would mean Kent's share increasing by 30%.
Sir Sandy said: "We are proposing housing allocations which are significantly less than SEERAs. Our figures are based o­n what is actually being built at the moment and what Kent's own people need.
"Last year we produced a report for the Government showing that even for the current Government housing allocation we needed £9.6 billion of infrastructure funding for new roads, schools, community facilities and extra hospitals.
"Kent has a united front. The absolute maximum that KCC and Kent Districts will accept is the current Regional Planning Guidance. What we need is jobs, the funding for community infrastructure and above all a priority of protecting Kents unique and priceless countryside.
"We are, however, totally supportive of building o­n brownfield sites, such as in the Thames Gateway. Kent already has a 10 year landbank of mainly brown land available now. We do not need further regional allocations."
Sir Sandy said Kent's existing rates of build had been extensively tested through the Kent Structure Plan process that had involved widespread public consultation.
"There is a careful balance to be maintained between building new homes, providing the right infrastructure and protecting Kents unique environment. I believe the SEERA proposals come nowhere near to making the case for an acceleration of housing build."

On-line path to coalfield history

Contributed by editor on Nov 26, 2004 - 08:54 PM

A major initiative to preserve the heritage of the Kent Coalfield is busy digging into a vital part of the history of the local area - and is using hi-tech solutions to record and store a unique record of memories and information from the community.
The Coalfield Heritage Initiative in Kent (CHIK) project, which is led by Dover Museum, was set up earlier this year to record and celebrate the area's mining heritage through the preparation of a community archive. This is being put together from a variety of sources, including photographs, documents, text stories, oral reminiscences and video clips. The scheme aims to provide a 'virtual museum' of life in the Kent Coalfields through CD-ROMs and the Internet.
A number of community groups have been set up to enable research to be locally based, and the project held its first training workshop o­n Saturday (20th November) at the Hersden Neighbourhood Centre. Community Archive volunteers from the coalfield communities at Deal (Betteshanger Colliery), Elvington (Tilmanstone Colliery) and Hersden (Chislet Colliery) attended for a full day's training in using the project's software and computer equipment.
Each Community Archive group will collect photographs and oral reminiscences from its area and produce them as CD-ROMs and as part of an Internet 'virtual museum'.
The CHIK project is based at Dover Museum and is supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, Single Regeneration Budget, Dover District Council, Deal Town Council, Aylesham Parish Council, Furley & Page Solicitors and Unison.
For more information about the CHIK project, or to get involved in the production of this important community archive, please contact Mark Frost at Dover Museum o­n (01304) 201066.

Dancing into Christmas

Contributed by webmaster on Nov 26, 2004 - 12:39 PM

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Christmas crime menu

Contributed by webmaster on Nov 26, 2004 - 12:19 PM

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Local schools benefit from Lottery fund

Contributed by editor on Nov 25, 2004 - 04:39 PM


Kent County Council's Sports Development Unit has successfully bid for and won £222,745 to help 40 selected primary schools.

The money from the Big Lottery Fund will be spread across the county and help develop school playgrounds for PE and sport, using line markings, target walls and fixed games equipment.

Improving a playground encourages children to adopt a healthier approach to playtime by taking part in more games or sport.

KCC Lead Member for Sport Mike Hill said: "Approximately a quarter of the school day is spent in the playground and this is going to provide that extra incentive for the children to play and be active during that time.

"The improved facilities will also help teach the curriculum and benefit after school clubs. By dramatically enhancing the surfaces and equipment, the scheme will provide a better environment in which to learn, teach, play and develop."

Local selected schools are:

St Radigund's Community Primary School, Dover

St Mary's CEP School, Dover

St Peter's CEP School, Folkestone

Vale View Community School, Dover

Dymchurch Primary School, Nr Folkestone

South Deal Primary School, Deal

Palmarsh Primary School, Nr Hythe

Northbourne CEP School, Deal

Langdon Primary School, Dover

Folkestone Camera Club meeting

Contributed by editor on Nov 25, 2004 - 04:14 PM


On Monday 22nd  November, we held our 2nd Print competition of the season, judged by Dr Peter Lewis LRPS a member of St. Mary’s Bay Camera Club and as the letters after his name show, a very competent and experienced photographer, and he gave us very good comments on how we can improve our photography.  He was an excellent judge and gave a wide range of marks out of 20.  Winners of each section were as follows:-

Novice:-        Remembered        Gill Jefferson        20    
(11 entries)        Golden Oldie        Jim Wraight            19
Intermediate:-    No 19                Michael Chalk        20
(18 entries)        Stelling Minnis Mill              Mary Collins        19
            Wishful Thinking        Thelma Bridges        19

Advanced:-         Walking Through        Frank Barraclough        20
 (28 entries)        Steam Release        David Hughes        20
    Coalman            H. Fereday            19

Novice:-        Butter Wouldn’t Melt    Pam Wraight        20
(3 entries)        Kerry                Glen Yorke            19

Intermediate:-     Sasha                Muriel Hilliard              20
(3 entrries)        Ben                Muriel Hilliard        19
Advanced:-          The Watcher        Frank Barraclough         20
(14 entries)         A White Smile         Marie-Laure Stone CPAGB  19

The above prints with 20 marks,  can be seen on our website at

Next Monday will be our Len Charles Cup Competition, when members show a selection of related slides along  with their own commentary, and the following Monday we will be seeing a selection of audio visual presentations from our Australian exchange, which will prove to be a very enjoyable evening.

On Wednesday 1st December we shall be holding our monthly practical evening, where members can practice portraiture or table-top photography with the clubs studio lighting .
Meetings are held at the United Reformed Church Community Hall, Castle Hill Avenue. Folkestone, every Monday, commencing at 7.45pm.  New members are always welcome and anyone interested in joining, please, ring Mrs Jenny Barraclough (Press Officer) 01303 245399 or e mail: for further information.

Crime sheet 15/11/04 to 21/11/04

Contributed by editor on Nov 25, 2004 - 03:59 PM

COUNTRY EYE - NEIGBOURHOOD WATCH Crime Sheet 15/11/04 to 21/11/04


Between 1600hrs 15/11/04 & 0801hrs 16/11/04

Theft from Motor Vehicle


Informant states that plant has been stolen from a JCB on site. The informant states to remove the bucket offenders would have had to jack the JCB up.



Between 0720hrs & 1600hrs 16/11/04



Entry was gained via the ground floor dining room window at the side of the property.  Offenders have forced the lock on the sash window by means unknown.

Tidy search of the property, believe only master bedroom searched. Jewellery box located and gold items stolen. Other items of silver jewellery were left behind.



Between 1220hrs & 1500hrs 16/11/04



Entry was gained via a rear kitchen window which was forced open, exit appears as entry. It appears that unknown offenders have entered the property and have conducted an untidy search but nothing was stolen from the property.



Between 1700hrs 17/11/04 & 0830hrs 18/11/04

Theft from Motor Vehicle


Between the stated times unknown person has stolen 4 CDs from centre console and some loose change from the ashtray of her vehicle.  There is no apparent damage to the vehicle. IP does not know how entry was gained.



Between 2000hrs 17/11/04 & 0830hrs 18/11/04

Theft from Motor Vehicle


Ip has come out to take the children to school and found that the driver's door to the vehicle was slightly ajar. Offender/s have gained access into the vehicle has removed documentation and disable badge.



Between 2020hrs 16/11/04 & 1230hrs 17/11/04



IP's at work informed the IP of a burnt out vehicle near to the IP's home address.At lunch break the IP went home to investigate and the IP found the car damaged, burnt out.



Between 0730hrs & 1630hrs




The key for the locked door was left in a chest of drawers in the porch. There are no signs of forced entry and the rear door keys are now missing. It is presumed entry gained using these keys, which have been retained by the offender. The 2 jars containing cash have been taken from the kitchen area, which is at the rear of the property. An untidy search has been conducted on the ground and upper floor.



Between 2004hrs 15/11/04 & 1800hrs 18/11/04



Ip - he states that he lives at the caravan during the week while he is working at the site. Offender has forced the side window and entered and caravan and stolen his passport, medical card and a small amount of jewellery.



Between 1900hrs 19/11/04 & 1200hrs 21/11/04

Burglary Other


Ip is reporting that somebody has broken into his garage and stolen a ride on lawn mower and a pressure washer.



Between 2115hrs & 2128hrs 20/11/04



Owner then heard a smash & footsteps running away, she did not see who smashed the door.



Between 1920hrs & 1930hrs 20/11/04



Windows of phone box damaged

If you have any information in relation to any crime. Please contact the Watch Office o­n 01304 218151 or ring
Crimestoppers 0800 555 111 You do not have to give your name and you maybe eligible for a reward.

To Report suspicious incidents and problems you cannot resolve yourself 01303 850055


To report crime that has happened to you and the offenders have gone 01303 289134
If you would like to help with Neighbourhood Watch or would like to know more about what is involved, you can contact the Neighbourhood Watch & Parish Liaison Office at Dover Police Station on 01304 21815     Neighbourhood Watch

Hawkinge cage art

Contributed by editor on Nov 24, 2004 - 08:36 PM


Dear Ed

Is that it ? A cage ? How much ? Have got two similar "structures" in my back garden that are available, but people I've contacted want a lot of money to dismantle them...ex cages for rotweiller dogs.

Still, like beauty, art must be in the eye of the beholder....or is it a case of the Emperor's new clothes.

Bah humbug...finkle open up the rear garden as an art gallery/event/happening or whatever is appropriate.


click here if you missed the story

Hawkinge chamber art unveiled

Contributed by editor on Nov 24, 2004 - 04:05 PM


Stephen Turner, Regional Council Member for Arts Council England South East officially opened the Dymchurch seawall chambers on Thursday (18 November).

The three chambers, created by artist Nayan Kulkarni are part of a project, backed by the South East England Development Agency (SEEDA), to improve the A259 corridor and aim to help enhance links between the land on one side of the wall and the sea on the other. The chambers were built and installed by Cook Fabrications of Hawkinge.

Other initiatives include planting schemes at the Neptune Inn and New Beach Holiday Centre and a joint venture with the Environment Agency to plant native shrubs on the A259 boundary with Willop Depot.

After the opening ceremony at the New Beach Holiday Centre guests had a walking tour of the chambers which each reflect the elements of air, water and fire (lightning) in different ways.

Mr Turner said it was great that an artist with a fast-growing national and international reputation was able to work in the area.

“ I have seen Nayan’s work in Bristol and I am glad that it is not only Bristol that can benefit from his creative energy,� he said.

Nayan told guests that when he first visited the project site he could see little beyond a solid sweep of concrete.

“ It did not seem a interesting place to be. But then I went up on the seawall and everything changed. I was immediately inspired.â€?  

He praised Shepway Council for its support during the project. “It has been the best experience I have had of working with a local authority,� he said.

Left to right: Stephen Turner, Regional Council Member for Arts Council England South East; Nayan Kulkarni, artist; Cllr Carole Waters, Cabinet Member for Housing and Leisure Piran
 Cooper, Landscape Architect.

Top jobs targetted in Shepway shake up

Contributed by editor on Nov 23, 2004 - 06:17 PM


Top council executives are facing redundancy after an agreement was reached to restructure the local authority.

Chief Executive of Shepway District Council Alistair Stewart said: "Currently some senior officers are at risk of redundancy following agreement to restructure the council.

"The restructuring is being carried out with a view to making significant savings in the revenue budget".

When asked to clarify the costs of the exercise to the Authority, a Shepway Council spokesman said: "More than £300,000 will be taken from reserves in the current financial year.

"The savings made in the revenue budget will be between £150,000 and £200,000, depending on how much the council wishes to put back into the reserves".